Heritage Emory Grove
is a proposed redevelopment project created for mixed-income homeownership in Gaithersburg, MD, while honoring the history of a thriving, self-sufficient community originally founded by freed African Americans in 1864.
Emory Grove was originally founded by freed African Americans in 1864. At its greatest extent, Emory Grove touted some 500 residents living on 300 acres of land and is widely known for hosting Methodist ‘camp meetings.’ The Emory Grove United Methodist Church is one of the few remaining historical structures of the historic community. Johnson’s Local Park and the Upper County Community Center also sit on the site of the perennial worship camp.
For more than 100 years, Emory Grove was a vibrant and tight-knit community. Urban Renewal in the 1960s and 1970s brought undelivered promises to Historic Emory Grove and, along with it, the demise of an endearing community culture.
The current redevelopment proposal envisions a broad plan centered around Emory Grove United Methodist Church as the historical center.
One of the last tangible and recognizable reminders of the original Emory Grove community, the well pump, is the inspiration behind the Heritage Emory Grove iconography.
Heritage Emory Grove (HEG) is a redevelopment project in partnership with Montgomery County, the Housing Opportunities Commissions (HOC) of Montgomery County, and Emory Grove United Methodist Church.
The focus of HEG is on recreating the interconnectedness of the original Emory Grove, with the interstation of Emory Grove Road and Washington Grove Lane, with Emory Grove United Methodist Church as its reaffirmed heart.
The bulk of the property will be redeveloped with a heavy focus on mixed-income homeownership. As proposed, HOC would act as steward of the County property.
Street grids, pedestrian connectivity, an updated community center, and Johnson’s Local Park, along with historical programming, cultural amenities, and community gardening are all intended to help re-establish the once-familiar sense of camaraderie of the original community.